Galapagos Hotel Based Boat Diving

You need a boat to reach the best dive sites in Galapagos, but that does not mean you have to stay on a boat.  Some of the best dive sites around the islands can be reached by a combination of land based travel and speed boat, all emanating from your hotel base on Santa Cruz island.

We can run land based dive trips at any time of the year for any duration.  For those who are keen to focus on diving, 11 days Quito - Quito is a satisfactory duration to see an excellent cross section of the marine life these islands have to offer.  Land based diving is also an ideal way to combine an exploration of Galapagos marine life with a more terrestrially focused Yacht Safari or one of our Sea Kayak, Hiking & Biking journeys around the islands.  A short land based diving extension is also ideal for someone booked on to one of our liveaboard dive trips, but who wants to familiarise themselves with local dive conditions first.

One of the most ubiquitous highlights of diving around the Galapagos are its sharks.  Hammerhead sharks are often seen, in particular at the more advanced dive site of Gordon's Rock.  White tips are also often seen, as are Galapagos sharks.

Rays are another feature of diving in the Galapagos, with the most commonly seen being eagle rays, golden cow nosed rays and sting rays. 

Sea lions are one of the most entertaining marine life residents in the islands.  Whilst you may come face to face with a sea lion's nose to your mask on a dive, you are most likely to enjoy their playful company whilst snorkelling between dives - or in fact, snorkelling on one of our yacht safaris or adventure trips in the islands.

All of the marine life so far described is here because of the incredible biomass of fish and smaller marine life.  Fish shoals can be huge and swirling, whilst on a smaller scale 'fields' of garden eels are a wonderful sight at locations such as North Seymour, close to rocks covered in literally hundreds of blue nudibranchs.

For more information about dive sites you can visit on day trips please Click Here.


11 Day Sample Itinerary

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch

Day 1: Arrive Quito

You will be met at the airport and transferred to your boutique hotel in Quito.

Day 2: Quito (B)

Day in Quito to acclimatise, relax and explore as you wish.

Day 3: Fly to Galapagos (B)

You will be collected from your hotel early and transferred to the airport.

Fly Quito - Baltra Island.

Upon arrival you can take the cheap airport bus across Baltra Island to the Itabaca Channel.  Here we will cross by ferry to Santa Cruz island.  Watch for red throated Frigate Birds in the mangroves as you take the ferry from Baltra Island to Santa Cruz.

Once on Santa Cruz, take the connecting bus across the drier half of the island where the vegetation is dominated by tree cacti.  You will see ahead of you the lush highlands and the island's volcanic peaks.  Once we reach this area we will take you to explore the forests, wildlife and lava formations here.

From the highlands we descend into farmed areas of Santa Cruz and then to the main town of Puerto Ayora.  Check in to your hotel and then proceed to the dive centre for check in and fitting you out with dive equipment.


Day 4-8: Day Trips with 2 Dives (B,L)

Dive locations are likely to include North Seymour, Beagle, Cousins Rock, Gordon's Rock, Floreana, Pinzon and Guy Fawkes.

Day 9: Day to decompress

Day to decompress. A visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station is recommended.

Day 10: Fly back to Quito (B)

Check out of hotel.

Transfer Puerto Ayora to Baltra Island.

Fly Galapagos - Quito where you will be met and transferred back to your hotel.


Day 11: Fly home (B)

Transfer to airport for flight home.



11 day trip Quito - Quito £2,215 / US$3,090 pp sharing

4 day/3 night extension if added to another Galapagos trip (includes 4 dives) £595 / US$795 pp sharing

For each extra day's diving & accommodation add £262 / US$350  per person sharing

Single supplements

11 day dive trip add £395 / US$555

4 day / 3 night extension add £99 / US$145

Dates: Throughout the year.

11 day trip price includes
Return flights Quito-Galapagos
All accommodation including 3 nights boutique hotel in Quito (we can switch to Guayaquil if you prefer)
Breakfast in Quito
All transfers in Quito
Up to 10 dives
Full scuba kit rental
Lunches on diving days
A year's free membership of the Galapagos Conservation Trust.

11 days trip price excludes
International flights to Quito
Galapagos National Park entrance fee - $100** per person to be paid in cash at the airport in Galápagos).
$20** immigration tax payable before you arrive in Galapagos.
Airport bus - ferry - bus links between Baltra Island airport and Puerto Ayora.
Travel insurance.
(**correct at time of writing)

4 day / 3 night prices includes
4 dives boat based and overland transportation required
Full scuba kit rental
Lunches on diving days

Comfort level
Mid range hotel in Galapagos (upgrades available)
Boutique hotel in Quito.

There is no problem in arranging Galapagos flights around your itinerary on the islands e.g. fly into Baltra and out of San Cristobal for example.
You can arrange your own international flights or Aqua-Firma can do this for you.
Flight price guide: from £750 with KLM, Iberia, British Airways / American Airlines and Continental depending upon the time of year and seat availability.

Trip Reviews from the Galapagos Islands


Galapagos Island Guide